The Prime Minister of Norway H.E. Kjell Magne Bondevik today visited the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and was briefed about the work of the Tribunal and its completion strategy. The Prime Minister was accompanied by the Norwegian Minister for International Development, H.E. Ms. Hilde Frafjord Johnson and by the Tanzanian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, H.E. Jakaya M. Kikwete.
The President of the Tribunal, Judge Erik Møse, the Prosecutor Mr. Hassan Bubacar Jallow and the Registrar Mr. Adama Dieng briefed the delegation about the complex work of the ICTR, about the trials completed, trials in progress and cases at the pre-trial stage.
The Tribunal officials assured the delegation that the ICTR was on target to complete all trials by 2008 as required by the United Nations Security Council. “We are on schedule according to our completion strategy. Your visit here today provides us with an inspiration to continue our mission,” said Judge Møse.
The ICTR officials commended the Government and the people of Norway for their unwavering direct support to the work of the Tribunal and through the United Nations.
They also commended the Norwegian Government for its financial contribution to construct a fourth courtroom. This they said was another eloquent testimony of the continuing strong support which Norway provides to the ICTR.
Norway provided the Tribunal with gratis personnel when the ICTR was in dire need of experienced staff. It also helped the ICTR financially through voluntary contributions to the Tribunal’s Trust Fund.
Tribunal officials emphasized the need for continued support from all Member States to arrest and transfer persons indicted, to provide financial support and assistance with the movement and protection of ICTR witnesses.
The Norwegian Prime Minister pledged his government’s continued support to the important work of the Tribunal and commended the achievements it has made in bringing to justice people responsible for the commission of genocide and other serious violations of international humanitarian law in Rwanda in 1994.
Prime Minister Bondevik said Norway has passed legislation to prosecute human rights violators in its courts and to follow up on the recommendations of the ICTR. He also pledged to follow up at the General Assembly to encourage payments to the ICTR by Member States who are in arrears.